Our lives and priorities change day-to-day, but now more than ever, doing your part to reduce environmental impacts and save resources by recycling protects the future and a world to go back to. TerraCycle® is here to help!
Our National Recycling Programs are still at work to make it as easy and rewarding as possible to save everyday products and packaging from landfills, support brands doing the right thing, and raise funds for your favorite schools and nonprofits or for charitable gifts to our Charity Partners responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Feeding America and Americares
Continue collecting common items to recycle for with us free, and have some fun while you’re at it! Here are some of our expert tips and tips for recycling the non-recyclable at home:
Create cool collection bins.
In the same way single-stream recycling is easier up front but a bit of a nightmare in the back, sorting as you collect for TerraCycle’s programs makes staying organized a breeze. Turn it into a fun activity the whole family will enjoy by designing your own custom collection bins.
Repurpose (or, upcycle) items and materials you already have, such as an empty storage bin, leftover wrappers, or scraps of paper, to create a one-of-a-kind container for every program. Need some inspiration? Check out these DIY instructions for creating a Designer Collection Box or an Upcycled Collection Box designed exclusively by TerraCycle’s team of Design Junkies.
Designate a special place for TerraCycle-bound items.
Set up and store containers in convenient locations throughout your home or in a high-traffic area where typically non-recyclable items are generated and products and packaging typically discarded. Placing a bin next to the kitchen recycling can is a great place to start, as is one for the bathroom!
The goal is to ensure family members and co-habitants to clearly notice the bins and what they are for so they remember there’s a better solution for their empties than the trash. Take this opportunity to create teachable moments for family, roommates, or children by explaining the differences between municipally recyclable and “difficult-to-recycle” items.
Try a new way to store your compost.
Putting food scraps and paper product waste to good use is part of recycling everything. Unpleasant odors coming from your kitchen compost bin? Put your food scraps and organic waste in an airtight container and keep it in your freezer. This will help to prevent smells before it’s time to bring your compost to the curb. Don’t have a local compost pickup service? Use the Organics Zero Waste Box™to keep your at-home composting efforts efficient and mess-free.
Clearly label bins and hang signs.
Active participation and proper separation are essential to the success of any recycling program and go way up when clear, instructional signage is present, so amp up your at-home recycling with labels and signs that call attention to your eco-activities and leave nothing to chance.
Print and hang the custom Program Fliers available for download at the bottom of every National Recycling Program page on or above their respective collection bins, or get creative and design your own! These signs will serve as a gentle reminder of what goes where.
Make sure items are empty and dry.
Before placing an item into your collection bin, double-check to ensure all excess product has been removed. If you choose to rinse your chip bags, beauty product empties, or snack pouches, be sure to dry them off completely. This will keep your recycling station neat, clean, and relatively odor-free and make it easier to package up collections when you’re ready to ship!
Keep the bins fresh.
To maintain good conditions for your bins and their contents, a low-impact trick is to place a sheet of newspaper at the bottom as a sustainable liner and periodically replace it, compositing any soiled bits. Regularly rinsing out your bin between uses is also recommended, as is using a lid if possible.
Store your waste out of the way.
There’s no such thing as “waste,” just misplaced resources, but an overflowing can of recyclables is not ideal. Ready to empty your collection bins, but not ready to ship just yet? Keep items separated by program and transfer the bins’ contents into cardboard boxes for easy shipping. Store the boxes in a cool, dry place — a closet, attic, or garage should do the trick!
Keeping our distance doesn’t mean we have to be distant from our friends and family; share these tips and tricks with them and encourage them to recycle and earn TerraCycle points for charity!
Have any ideas we missed here? Tell us in the comments!